“The Lord gave another message to Jeremiah. He said, ‘Go down to the potter’s shop, and I will speak to you there.’ So I did as he told me and found the potter working at his wheel. But the jar he was making did not turn out as he had hoped, so he crushed it into a lump of clay again and started over.” — Jeremiah 18:1-4
When you read about the potter and the clay, do you wonder what caused the marring? You and I aren’t told in Jeremiah’s eye-witness account. But there are various reasons why the clay can be marred.
The marring could have been caused by the bubbles. They sometimes appear after the clay has been placed on the potter’s wheel and then they must be beaten out. It may be that some bubbles have appeared in the clay of your life, and the blows that have come to you are from the hand of the Potter, beating out the bubbles. The blows are to make you better, not bitter. They are to mold you, not mar you. Don’t push away the Potter’s hand in your life. It was the same hand that was nailed to the cross for you.
The marring may have been caused by the blemishes. Blemishes sometimes appear in the clay and must be cut out. The wise potter removes the hard and harsh substances from the clay. Is there something in your life that’s unpliable and unyielding? The sorrow you experience may be the hand of the Potter removing those obstacles. Yield to the hand of the Potter, and He’ll turn your frustration into fruitfulness, your pain into power, and your trials into triumphs.
The marring may have been caused by the balancing. Sometimes the lump of clay gets out of plumb, it deviates to the right or the left, and then it flies off at a tangent and destructs. At any cost, you must stay in the center of God’s will.
Demas (2 Timothy 4:10) didn’t stay in God’s will. He put the world ahead of the will of God, and he flew off into a shattered, useless existence.
Moses marred God’s plan by a hasty temper, and missed seeing the promised land by striking the rock instead of speaking to it.
David marred God’s plan by his own lust, and lost a son in the process.
Jonah marred God’s plan by disobedience, and was swallowed by a fish.
Lot marred God’s plan by worldliness, and lost his family and his fortune.
Noah marred God’s plan by drunkenness, and lost his usefulness.
Uzziah marred God’s plan by haughtiness, and lost his health.
Peter marred God’s plan by prayerlessness, and lost the joy of His salvation.
Look into your life. Ransack your heart. Are you marring God’s plan by some shortcoming or sin. Are you the source of the Potter’s pain?